[C]arlisle City Council has today (Thursday 9 November) signed an employer pledge with Time to Change. The growing social movement is run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. It supports people to open up to mental health problems.
By signing, Carlisle City Council is committing to change the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace. The signing ceremony took place during the council’s staff Health and Wellbeing day, with the Mayor of Carlisle, Cllr Trish Vasey in attendance. The Leader of the Council, Cllr Colin Glover and the council’s Chief Executive, Jason Gooding pledged their support to Time to Change with an action plan of activity that will help to break the silence that surrounds mental health in the workplace.
Leader of Carlisle City Council, Cllr Colin Glover, said: “Signing the Employers Pledge demonstrates a commitment to change how we think and act about mental health in the workplace and makes sure that staff that are facing these problems feel supported. We want to confirm that we are committed to supporting our staff, tackling stigma around mental health issues and making a positive change in the workplace.”
Jason Gooding, Carlisle City Council’s Chief Executive added: “We will raise awareness of the pledge and will continue to encourage colleagues to support each other. Mental issues are no longer a taboo subject and we want everyone who works for the council to be open about their mental health and ask for support if they need it.”
Carlisle City Council joins the wide movement of over 450 organisations that have signed up to the Time to Change pledge, including E.ON, British Gas, Ernst & Young, Transport for London, Royal Mail, Barclays, Shell, Pepsico, the Church of England, Sunday Mirror, Marks and Spencer, and many NHS trusts, universities, and local authorities.
Jo Loughran, Interim Director of Time to Change, said: “We know it can be hard to talk about mental health, which is why we’re supporting employers to open up; to talk and to listen. Too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless, but with the right support, those of us with mental health problems can recover and have equal opportunities in all areas of life. Everyone’s attitude makes a difference and it’s fantastic to see organisations like Carlisle City Council taking the lead.
“Many leading employers have found that making a strategic commitment to the mental wellbeing of their workforce not only benefits their staff but also their bottom-line, improving productivity and staff retention. With one in six British workers experiencing mental illness it’s time for businesses to make a change and start creating more mentally healthy workplaces.”
Time to Change is funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund. Set up to create a positive shift in public attitudes towards mental health problems, Time to Change supports communities, schools and workplaces to open up to mental health problems; to talk and to listen.